Good things happen when you meet strangers.

Yo-Yo Ma

People are strange when you’re a stranger sang Jim Morrison of the Doors, and your mother warned you not to talk to strangers and so we have lived out this script our entire lives. But if you take a look at the world see the conflict and misunderstanding between people that know almost nothing about each other, it is clear that we are meant to do the opposite.

Good things do happen when you meet stranger. The world gets larger. The world gets more colourful. When you connect to other people you gain strength and meaning, and more importantly you offer the same to them.

But why are we so afraid to say hello to someone we don’t know? Why are we so guarded against strangers? Why have we believed that the world we live in is nasty and the God that created everthing is a mean accountant that keeps track of everything and punishes us in kind.

We need to embrace the idea of strangers. We need to embrace the idea of change, or allowing people and things to be different. That someone who doesn’t understand or accept us isn’t rejecting us, they are simply telling us that it is not for them, that we are now what they are looking for. But that doesn’t mean that the next person or the person after that will not want to connect with us and if we stop. If we let our hurt feelings guide our life. If the fear we have of strangers runs our life, than we will never experience the possibility of what can happen when you invite people into your life.

Yes, there are risks. There is a reason we have locks on our doors, and passwords for our bank accounts. But risks can be mitigated. You don’t have to bear your soul to everyone you meet, but you do have to be more open to meeting them where they are and that involves letting go of yourself and sharing more of yourself than what you might be willing to do.

If you want to be a different person and live a different life, you have to act and be different. How we treat strangers and how we engage them is definitely a big part of that. 

People are definitely strange when you’re a stranger, but all of that ends when you learn who they are and look for the common human things that unite everybody. Strangers quickly become John, Freddy, Lucy, and Melinda. When we discover their name, learn what they do, who they love, and who they wish to become, we will be enriched by it. We will probably find a little bit of ourselves in their struggles and successes.

Good things will happen when you talk to strangers. You will. never know unless you go out and put this to the test. I have and have learned two things. One; it is not easy, especially when you’ve lived most of your life as an introvert as I have, but just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing. Two. Our dreams come unassembled and in assortment of pieces. They don’t come in a bag for us to put together. The necessary pieces of our dreams are scattered and make their home in many different people, all around the world. It’s our job to engage people and to discover if have the piece of our dreams. Only by reaching out to strangers and getting to know them can we discover if they have a piece of the puzzle we’ve been looking for, and more importantly we might be in possession of something that can change their reality forever.